Cathie's Corner :How to fold a walker


How to fold your rollator walker for storage or travelling - some quick simple tips!

 

We seem to get a lot of enquiries about how to fold a walker (or rollator as they’re sometimes called). The best method depends on the type of walker you have and it's not always as easy as it sounds. Here's some quick, simple tips to help you pack up and transport your rollator with ease. 

 

There are 2 main types of walkers – traditional and side to side folding.


1. Traditional folding

The traditional one has been around for a while and has a lift up seat with a basket underneath. It is a bit tricky to fold and keep folded while you lift it into the boot, and it seems it’s not keen to stay neatly folded to lean against a wall or stay out of the way as it often unfolds itself when you aren't looking!

 

The traditional ones are also usually a little heavier, around 8kg, so this is a consideration if you are planning to lift or carry the walker.

 

Traditional walker extended and folded

 

To fold the traditional style you need to:

  1. Remove the wire basket (if present), so you can see the crossbar under where the basket was.
    • If it is a fabric 'basket' you can just feel for the crossbar that runs under the basket.
  2. Standing behind the walker as if you’re using it, lift the seat flap up and reach down to grasp the crossbar (reach under the basket if yours is fabric).
  3. Then pull up on that bar and the walker will fold – the wheels will be touching and the walker flattened.

Most walkers of this style do not have anything to hold the walker in this position so you really need to tip it sideways to be able to hold the long sidebars in position to keep it folded while you lift it into a car boot or wherever you need it to go.

 

2. Side to side folding

The other most popular style of walker is the side to side folding variety. This one is of similar weight to the traditional one, around 8-8.5kg, but stands up in the folded position making it easier to store and handle.
The 'carbon fibre' side folding varieties are quite a bit lighter at around 5.8kg for the medium size and so definitely have manual handling advantages for travelling or frequent popping in and out of the car.

 

Peak Ellipse Carbon Fibre rollator folded

 

Most side folding walkers have a little clip that holds them in position when folded which is very handy and makes them easier to manage than the traditional one.

To fold the side to side rollator walkers, you simply stand behind them as though you are using the walker and pull up on the handle in the middle of the seat - this brings the sides together where they can be easily secured with the clip if required.

 


If you are doing a lot of travel and want a truly portable and compact option the EZ Fold n Go is a great option. This rollator walker folds to a very compact package and will stand in the folded position taking up very little space and weighs only 3.62kg making it a breeze to pop in the boot.

Stander EZ Fold & Go walkerStander EZ Fold n G: easy to fold and transport

It's not for everyone as it does not have a seat – so if you need a spot to rest this might not be the best walker for you – but if you are looking for a small, transportable walking support for indoor and outdoor use then these are hard to go past. 

 

Clever tips & hacks to make things even easier:


Easier and more ergonomic lifting considerations for transporting walkers

It is important that you consider the lifting and transporting requirements of your walker when choosing it – consider whether you will be the one folding and lifting it or whether someone else will do it for you - they can be a bit awkward/heavy and we don’t want to risk injury to anyone in the process.

 

I recommend the 'slide and push' method of putting the walker in the boot rather than the more common approach of 'lift and swing'. Hopefully you can visualise what I’m meaning – when we try to lift something that is really too heavy we seem to lift then do a bit of a pirouette to twist (hurl!) it over the height required and drop it into the boot. Lifting and twisting are not good combinations of movement especially when there is an easier alternative which is also better for the longevity of the walker.

 

We recommend keeping a blanket/picnic rug in the boot so that you can place it folded over the edge of the open boot, then after placing the walker in a folded position standing behind the boot, lift it just enough to make contact with the blanket and slide it forward into the boot. When at your destination, simply reverse the process – protecting the paint on your car and avoiding the ‘lift and hurl' back strain risk altogether. Happy travels!

 

If you’d like a quick demo from our friendly team on how to fold your particular walker/rollator, please don’t hesitate to visit one of our 16 independent living centres around Australia.

We’re always happy to help, plus, all our stores are now open on Saturdays so we have even more time to assist you. We hope to see you soon.

Cathie's illustration

- Cathie

 

 

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